As Congress neared its pre-election adjournment with most fiscal 2007 appropriations measures unfinished,lawmakers approved a measure to keep non-defense programs, including nearly all federal construction accounts, operating until Nov. 17.

Without some sort of stopgap, funding for most federal agencies would run out on Oct. 1, the first day of fiscal 20007. Congress planned to return in mid-November for a lame-duck session to attempt to finish at least some of the many bills still pending.

The "continuing resolution," or CR, was attached to the fiscal 2007 Dept. of Defense appropriations measure, which the Senate approved on Sept. 29. The House had cleared the DOD bill three days earlier. Lawmakers were planning to adjourn by about Sept. 30.

The CR sets spending for domestic programs at the fiscal 2006 level or those provided in the House-approved or Senate-passed 2007 bills—whichever of the three amounts is lowest.

Besides the DOD appropriations bill, the only other one of the dozen 2007 spending measures that was close to approval before the congressional break was the one covering the Dept. of Homeland Security.